Sam Clovis, President Donald Trump's
pick to be chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture, has
argued against LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage.
According to CNN
KFile, Senate Democrats oppose Clovis' nomination, arguing that
he lacks the scientific background needed for the position.
Clovis has argued that “LGBT
behavior” is a choice and that allowing gay and lesbian couples to
marry could lead to the legalization of pedophilia.
“Someone who engages in LGBT behavior
– I don't know what the science is on this, I think it's still out
– but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make,”
said at a campaign stop during his failed 2014 campaign for the
Republican Senate nomination in Iowa.
“There's no equivalency there between
the civil rights issue associated between those protected classes and
the civil rights of someone who engages in a particular behavior.
Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also
becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors
are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we
going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to
protect people who have fetishes? What's the logical extension of
this? It can't be that we're going to protect LGBT and then we'll
pull up the ladder. That's not going to happen, it defies logic.
We're not thinking the consequences of these decisions through,” he
In an op-ed
from 2012, Clovis argued that businesses should be allowed to
discriminate against LGBT workers if it conflicts with the owner's
“Homosexuality and personal choices
about one's sexual preferences is not at issue. Businesses today have
extended support to life partners in a number of ways. It's just good
business if that is what it takes to get the best person for the
job," wrote Clovis."On the other hand, businesses and their
owners should be able to make decisions about who is employed if
hiring people who do not behave in accordance with some deeply held
religious belief system is at issue. Just as the government should
not force business owners or enterprises to provide contraceptives or
morning-after pills because of religious beliefs, the government
should not be in charge of hiring practices, either. Religious
freedom, perhaps the most fundamental of all protected freedoms, must
be free of government interference."
Clovis, 67, was a national co-chair of
the Trump-Pence campaign.